Medical marijuana is a versatile medication and may be used to treat an extensive range of conditions. While there are many ways to consume it, some methods may work better for certain individuals than others. So whether you like to smoke, vape, or eat your medicine, there are plenty of administration methods to choose from. 

Inhaling Medical Cannabis

The most popular way to consume medical cannabis is by smoking or vaporizing the dried flowers or leaves of the plant. However, there are many ways to inhale cannabis, each with its own set of benefits. Inhaling medical marijuana allows patients to feel the effects almost immediately, which may be ideal for those who need fast relief.

Smoking or vaping is also a good option for those who want to control their dosage, as it is easy to take a few puffs and wait to see how the medication affects you before taking more.


Using a vape pen or other vaporizer is one of the healthiest ways to consume cannabis as it doesn’t involve combusting the plant material. Instead, inhaled cannabis enters the lungs via water molecules. This allows users to avoid the harmful byproducts of combustion, such as tar and carbon monoxide.

Another benefit of vaping is that it is one of the most discreet methods of consuming cannabis. Vapor doesn’t linger in the air like smoke, so you can vape without worrying about bothering those around you. The effects of vaping medical cannabis are felt almost immediately and may last anywhere from two to six hours.

Metered Inhalers

If you are new to using medical marijuana or find that the harshness of smoke bothers your throat or lungs, a metered-dose inhaler may be a good option for you. These devices deliver a measured amount of cannabis medication, thus making it easier to control your dosage.

These medical cannabis inhalers work just like asthma inhalers, and the effects of the medication are felt almost immediately. Users may expect to feel the effects for four to eight hours after use.


Concentrates are a potent form of medical marijuana that may be used in several ways. They are made by extracting the cannabinoids from the cannabis plant, resulting in a highly concentrated product.

Concentrates may take on a number of forms, such as:

  • Oils
  • Waxes
  • Shatter
  • Distillates
  • Rosin

The most common ways to consume concentrates are dabbing, vaporizing, or adding them to your cannabis flower when smoking. The effects of cannabis concentrates may be felt almost immediately and typically last between one and six hours.


The most common way to consume medical marijuana is by smoking the plant’s dried flowers, also called “bud.” This method has been used for centuries and is still one of the most popular ways to consume cannabis. The effects of smoking medical marijuana are felt almost immediately and may last anywhere from two to six hours.

Typically those who prefer to smoke the plant’s bud grind the flower and then roll it into a joint or pack it into a pipe. Patients are allowed to purchase 2.5 ounces of flower every 35 days and have a maximum of four ounces in their possession at any given time.

Ingesting Medical Marijuana

While inhaling your medicine is the most popular way to consume medical marijuana, it is not the only way. Some patients prefer not to smoke or vaporize their medication and instead opt for other methods, such as ingesting cannabis in the form of edibles or capsules.

This method of administration is ideal for those who want the long-lasting effects of cannabis but don’t want to smoke or vaporize their medication. It is also a good option for those who have respiratory issues that make smoking or vaporizing difficult.


Cannabis-infused edibles are one of the most popular forms of ingestible medical marijuana. These edibles may take on many different forms, such as:

However, almost any food may be infused with cannabis. There are many fun and unique recipes available online. The effects of an edible may take 15 to 20 minutes to kick in, and they generally peak after 90 minutes to two hours after ingestion. Because the effects may take some time to be felt, it is important to start with a low dose and wait at least an hour before consuming more.


Tinctures are a liquid form of medical marijuana that can be taken orally or added to food and drinks. Tinctures are frequently administered sublingually (under the tongue) and are absorbed via the digestive system or blood vessels located in the mucous membrane.

The effects of tinctures are felt within 15 to 20 minutes and may last between four and six hours. The full effect of a tincture may be felt an hour and a half to two hours after taking it.


Capsules are another popular form of ingestible medical marijuana. These capsules are filled with cannabis oil and can be taken like any other pill. This method is ideal for precise dosing as each capsule contains a predetermined amount of medication.

It may take 90 minutes to two hours after taking a cannabis capsule to feel the full effects. The effects of a cannabis capsule may last anywhere from four to six hours.

Transdermals for Medical Marijuana

Transdermal medical marijuana products are applied to the skin and absorbed into the bloodstream. This method is often used for those who suffer from chronic pain as it allows for long-lasting relief.


Topicals are applied directly to the skin and treat various conditions such as pain and inflammation. This method allows users to focus the medication on a specific area and provides fast-acting relief. The effects of topicals are felt almost immediately and may last from one to two hours.

Transdermal Patches

Transdermal patches are similar to topical products but are designed to deliver a steady stream of medication over an extended period of time. These patches are often used to treat chronic pain and may provide anywhere between eight and 72 hours of relief. The onset of the effects of a transdermal patch may take 10 to 60 minutes.

Get Your Florida Medical Marijuana Card

With so many methods to consume medical marijuana available, it may be hard to know where to start. The best way to begin is by talking with a qualified Florida medical marijuana doctor.

The Medical Marijuana Treatment Clinics of Florida (MMTCFL) has a team of experienced and compassionate physicians who can help you determine if you qualify for medical marijuana treatment and a Florida medical marijuana card